Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Haul o'stash continued...

Well, this iPad is being temperamental (or else, let's be honest - I still haven't mastered Blogger!)

Just wanted to say I'm thrilled that today I reached the big FIVE-OH!  Followers, that is!
And besides being thrilled with that tidbit, I found these treasures waiting in the mail from my friend Debby!  Thanks so much, Deb! I LOVE these!  Really can't wait to start those pieces that make up
From Sea to Shining Sea.  Well, really I just want to dig in and sort those beautiful SILKS in the packages!  Yeah, I'm a bit of a floss junkie, I'll admit it!

And along with these five great charts AND silks, I received this piece to accompany The Library. 
This is Little House Needlework's "The Bookshelf."  It's charted for DMC's, but I'm definitely going to be attacking the over dyes for this one:
And last, but certainly not least, another from Marty over at Stitch and Frog 
This is Ghost's Alphabet by Primrose Needleworks (a new designer to me). 
I really love this one, but I love all things Halloween. Especially the CANDY! 

Big Haul o'Stash!

It's a dreary, rainy day here in South Florida, and I'm really hurting from my back, neck and hips. Plus, my friendly little kidney stones are still happy camping out inside me, it seems.  So what could be a better antidote to the crummy mood I'm in?  NEW STASH!  Today was a big haul. Almost feel like a mermaid who's found a shimmering shiny thingamajig to play with!
This is Mirabilia's newest design - Siren and the Shipwreck.  Now it's going to be extra hard to concentrate on my WIPs!  And what mermaid is complete without some BLING?
Lots of treasures and beads to embellish her! And if course shimmering Kreiniks as well. 
And what better way to chase away the gray rainy skies than to dream of a bright cheery Spring day? 
Hawk Run Hollow, take me away! 

Now if you just can't wait until next week, Marty over at will
get these two new designs out in the mail to you if you catch her before she heads to Nashville! 
Tell her Kevin sent you! Ribbit!  
And I just can't seem to ever resist the charts from The Prairie Schooler. Four new designs just released, and I just had to get all four! Here they are:



Movin' On Up to the Big Time!

Any child of the 1970's knows the theme song from "The Jeffersons."  We can probably sing it in our sleep!  And no, I'm not moving into "that penthouse apartment in the sky," but I do feel as though I'm walking on air a bit here.  

No, no...I haven't finished one of my three pending Chatelaines (one day...sigh) and no, I haven't conquered that Grand Prix of stitching known as a HAED design, yet.  But I have taken the next step toward achieving those goals, and many more, because I am now the proud owner of (drum roll please) a Needle Needs MILLENIUM FRAME!


Well, OK, so I don't actually HAVE my frame here, yet.  But it's been ordered and paid for and will soon be making its voyage "across the Pond" to little ole me in little ole Pompano Beach.  Am I excited about this?  Naaaahhhh. I'm ecstatic about this!  You see, I've tried two other frames for stitching and try as I might, I just couldn't get excited about them because they never had the drum tight tension I sought after.  No more problems in that area, though!  I've watched the videos and I've read the testimonials and critiques, and no one has said anything negative about this frame's ability to produce a nice, taut stitching surface.  Nirvana! At last! 

And get this - not only did I  buy the frame, but I also found someone selling her Necessaire  
floor stand ( built for use with the Millenium frames!) Now all I have to do is stitch and wait until the 
goodies arrive.  

I really hemmed and hawed about this part of the purchase.  I just wasn't 100% sure of its stellar reputation. But that was before I saw Nicola's superb video of the stand and frame in action on her blog:

Thank you, Nicola, for answering my questions about the frame and the stand, and for your videos.  Both videos were important pieces in my decision to go for the stitching gold.  I can't wait to get these beauties and start stitching like the pros!  Oh yes, George and Weezy, I surely have moved on UP!  (Got any extra room for me in the penthouse?)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Visit Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe blog's Spring floss give-away

I've recently taken a break from my own blogging in order to explore a bit of the wonderful blogs I'm subscribed to.  One of these blogs happens to be having a Spring floss give-away, and by sharing and referring people to visit her blog it also gets me some "bonus" entries!  In order to enter the give-away, click on the following link and leave a comment on her blog. Don't forget to "follow" her blog as well, and take some time to explore while you're there. I think you'll be happy that you did.

Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe: Spring floss give-away enter now!: I thought it was time to give away some new floss colors for spring....surprise colors and you have to win them to see them! Aren't I me...

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Shining Needle Society

I recently received an email from designer Kathy Rees about a new counted canvas design she's releasing titled "Sherwood Garden."  Here's a picture of it in its original colorway, but there are FOUR additional color ways available (Peacock, Bermuda Reef, Stained Glass and Camouflage!)

The exciting news about this latest design is that Kathy will be teaching a cyber class to guide stitchers in the creation of this design!  She will be teaching via Shining Needle Society (a Yahoo group) and the full kit will be mailed to you before class starts this Spring. (Yes, I couldn't resist, and signed up for the Bermuda Reef colorway and class!)  Here's what Kathy had to say about this design:

"I will also be teaching this class online through the Shining Needle Society. If you're not familiar with the Shining Needle Society or want to join, send an email to Kate Gaunt (the leader) at It's easy to sign up, it's free and the only emails you get are announcements about classes. Membership offers you access to classes from dozens of teachers and you only pay if you sign up for a class. I'm honored to be the newest addition to the faculty and registration for Sherwood Garden runs through March 8th. So far 20 states and 2 countries are represented by registration! I'm excited to see how many different states I'll end up with when registration closes! You can see details and photos of the alternate colorways in the Shining Needle Class anouncement at"
 I'm super excited for two reasons -- one, I'll be getting guided instructions from the designer (Kathy) and two, I'm now a member of The Shining Needle Society, which offers some truly amazing online classes and materials from the designers/instructors.

After joining up with Shining Needle Society, I received notices about several upcoming classes.  One that DEFINITELY made my heart skip a beat was called Sun Dragon (by Dorothy Lesher):

I am still thinking about joining this class as well (meaning, you KNOW I'll eventually break down and join!)  But, even more exciting to me is Dorothy's "Moon Dragon" design which will be taught later and is featured in the Shining Needle Society class notice:

To learn more about these designs, check out the links above or contact Kate Gaunt at to join Shining Needle Society.  There is no cost to join the SNS group - you only pay for the classes/materials that interest you.  

Monday, February 18, 2013

Nearing the finish line!

Almost there! 
My final block to complete on Carriage House Samplings "Village of Hawk Run Hollow."
Planning to stay up late and finish the little horses and people, etc... Maybe stitch a bit of the grass too before turning in! We shall see.  (I'm tempted to make a cup of Starbucks Blonde roast with the little Via instant coffee packets I have! Can't wait for the Keurig coffee maker I ordered to arrive!) 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Village of..the Walking Downton Abbey

Well, as Robert Burns once said, "the best laid plans of mice and men..." You get the picture.
Yes, my over zealous plans for Valentine's Day were a bust. Not that all is lost, but I really didn't get as far as I had hoped to with my first foray into reproduction samplers.

Here is my modest start to Cornelia VanDerveer (1835) as of this morning.  I do like the color scheme so far, and it's a joy to stitch with the Au Ver a Soie silks!  Hoping to make a bit more progress today on this one.

So that did cover my plan of starting something "borrowed" and "new" the other day. 

As for something "old," I guess Cornelia's sampler qualifies for that as well, since the original was stitched in 1835. But, I also had plans to attack my long standing WIP of Carriage House Samplings "Village of Hawk Run Hollow" as well.  The good news is that I'm on my last block (out of twelve) so I feel a finish isn't too far away now!  I do plan to work on this project also today.  It's 45 degrees outside, which is very cold for us South Floridians.  So I'm going to be perched inside stitching the day away until tonight when The Walking Dead comes on at 9:00 PM.  I'm also hoping to catch up on last Sunday's "Downton Abbey" today while I'm stitching.  Tonight is the final episode of season three, I believe!  

Happy stitching, everyone.  And enjoy your Sunday and President's Day weekend. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Something old, something new ...

Happy Valentine's Day!
Well it's that time of year again where we honor dear Saint Valentine by running out to buy chocolates or flowers for someone near and dear to us.  Or maybe we'll go out for dinner, or perhaps cook a special dinner for someone.  Me, I'm going to celebrate in a different way -- I'm going to stitch, of course.

But before you hang your head thinking "big deal - that's like any other day," I was thinking I'd honor this day associated with love by incorporating the traditional bride's mantra of "something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue" into my stitching for the day!  Yes, I know it's corny and odd, but why not honor Cupid by following the old wive's saying, right?

So, first off I will work on something OLD.  And I have the perfect piece all ready to be worked on -- my Village of Hawk Run Hollow by Carriage House Samplings.  Yep, this one has been coming out to see the light of day rarely around here.  And pretty sad, too, when you consider I only have ONE block left to complete this beauty! (I'm using Silkweaver Golden Harvest 40 ct linen and Vikki Clayton Hand Dyed Fibers for mine.)

The picture's even OLD! That's from almost a year ago, now.  The graveyard's now completed and I started on the "Mountain grasses" block above it, but this really needs some love and attention today. 

For something NEW, I'm actually killing two birds with one stone.  I just received my materials yesterday for Blue Ribbon Designs new Blue Jeans and Daisies mystery, so that will definitely fit the criteria as something new AND something BLUE! (The Weeks Blue Jean linen is beautiful, as are the assorted Weeks flosses used with this one! These are pics I found on the Web, but looked so much better than my own attempt at a "floss toss.") 

And for the BORROWED, I think it's about time I put at least some stitches into Cornelia VanDerVeer's sampler.  This one is "borrowed" from a friend I'm stitching it for.  The original sampler was stitched by a relative in her family tree! 

So there you have it - my old, new, borrowed and blue plans for today! Hoping to have some actual progress pics to post soon.  Enjoy your Valentine's Day everyone.  And remember, if you don't have a special someone to share today with (or even if you DO!) you can always rummage through your stash and join me with our stitching. ;)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Quick update on my first model stitching gig!

As some of you may know, I recently stitched my first ever model piece.  What's even more exciting was that it was a design by one of my FAVORITE designers, Kathy Barrick!

Well, she will be releasing her new charts (seven of them!!) in a week or so.  The model I stitched was for "Crowned Heart" and you can see several sneak peeks of her upcoming releases at this link:

The sampler I stitched has snippets at number 5, 6, and 11 in the row of pics posted on the above blog.

+++ Kathy recently posted a pic of the entire model!  You can check out "Crowned Heart" at this link to her blog:

I'm super excited to have something I've stitched used as Kathy's model -- but I'm even more excited about her other releases which I haven't seen or stitched yet! :-)  Her sister will also be releasing Spring at Hawk Run Hollow in March.  Can't wait!

The Hunt for Cornelia VanDerveer

In my newly acquired quest for reproduction samplers, I happened to come across one sampler that happened to strike my eye as it was stitched by someone with the same last name as a friend of mine from high school. This friend, Alicia VanDerveer, was the star of our high school musicals and a friend of mine who shared several classes with me (and assorted passage of notes!) throughout high school. Recently, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a Facebook message from Alicia! As I had lost touch with her over the years since high school, it was a most welcomed surprise to suddenly hear from her out of the blue.

This note from Alicia just so happened to occur in the midst of my recent hunt for sampler kits on The Scarlet Letter site, and I was intrigued when I came across a sampler stitched in the 1800's by Cornelia VanDerveer.

On a whim, I sent Alicia the link saying something like "Perhaps this sampler was stitched by a relation to you?" Alicia responded enthusiastically, thinking it could possibly be stitched by her grandmother or great-grandmother whose name was Cornelia. She decided to investigate this a bit further, and through her search of her genealogy it just so happened that she did have a relative by the same name who lived in New York State around the time period this sampler was stitched! Unfortunately, it wasn't her grandmother's sampler (she was actually named Cordelia), but Cornelia Ann was definitely a fifth cousin whose dates matched up to the time and location where this sampler was thought to originate, so this is definitely a piece from Alicia's family ancestry!

Alicia contacted Marsha from The Scarlet Letter, and although Marsha at one time did in fact own the original sampler by Cornelia, she had since sold it and couldn't provide Alicia with its whereabouts today. So, we're on a quest to find out where this original piece may have ended up! It could very well be hanging in a museum gallery, or hanging on the wall of a private collector's home. If anyone happens to read this blog who may have further information about the original's location, I'd love to hear from you so I could pass the news on to Alicia.

In the interim, Alicia decided to purchase the reproduction kit from The Scarlet Letter, and I told her I would stitch it for her as soon as my current model stitching assignment is completed. I received the kit in the mail yesterday, and am excited to begin this piece. The silks are lovely shades of pinks, greens, taupes and creams. Please contact me or leave a comment on how to reach you if you have any information regarding an original Cornelia Vanderveer sampler. Thanks so much with any help in our quest. Have a great weekend.